Chapoutier’s much lauded le Meal Blanc is made from Marsanne. The vines, which are more than 50 years old, give low production and high quality, sourced from the Meal hillside, an old fluvioglacial alluvial deposit soil with shingles which contribute to soil warming. The fruit is hand-harvested generally at very good maturity.
The wine has a brilliant, golden yellow color. It is intense on the nose, very mineral, with celery overtones and a slight and well-integrated hint of wood. There is ample attack on the palate, a well-rounded, fine exotic freshness, and roasted almond flavor. Depending on the vintage, the wine can be kept from 30 to 60 years or from 50 to 75 years.
Chapoutier is one of the oldest wine producers in the Rhone Valley with a history dating back to 1808. A distant ancestor, Polydor Chapoutier, was the first to buy vines here, shifting from being a simple grape grower to making and trading his own wine. For the last two hundred years, the estate has been producing some of the greatest wines in the Rhone Valley. Today, the range also includes wines from some Roussillon appellations as well as projects in Portugal and Australia.
Under Michel Chapoutier’s leadership, quality improved and Chapoutier gained international recognition. The massive negociant and winery produces single-vineyard expressions and classic wines from a range of appellations in the north and south of the valley.
They have adopted biodynamic farming techniques and have included Braille markings on their labels since 1996. This was done from a desire to reach out to and include lovers of good wines with sight-impairments, and as a tribute to Maurice Monier of La Sizeranne, a member of the family that previously owned the vines of the same name and who invented the first abbreviated version of Braille.